Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Hawk Mountain Publishes New Data On Seasonal Changes In Migration Timing

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary biologists in Berks County recently published a new paper in collaboration with researchers in Canada and across the United States that suggests global climate change is creating long-term shifts in seasonal migration timing and the amount of time eastern North American raptors spend on their breeding grounds.
The article, "Long-term phenological shifts in migration and breeding-area residency in eastern North American raptors" was published in The Auk: Ornithological Advances on September 20. Dr. Jean-Francois Therrien, the Sanctuary’s senior research biologist, served as lead author with co-authors Director of Long-term Monitoring Dr. Laurie Goodrich, Director of Conservation Science Dr. Keith Bildstein, and seven other collaborators.
The research suggests an overall delay across species in most eastern North American raptors in autumn migration passage, which correlates with an increase in temperature.  
Combining those results with earlier spring migration data further suggests that most species in this region are increasing the amount of time they spend on their breeding grounds.
Hawk Mountain scientists led the work that used count data from seven North American watch sites, including Hawk Mountain Sanctuary (Kempton, PA), Hawk Ridge (Duluth, MN), Holiday Beach (Ontario, Canada), Lighthouse Point (New Haven, CT) Montreal West Island (Qu├ębec, Canada), Mount Peter (Warwick, NY), and Waggoner's Gap (Landisburg, PA).
"The study indicated that since 1985, most raptors spend two additional days per decade north of the seven hawkwatch sites. This supports the notion that global change may be having profound impacts on population and ecosystem dynamics in this avian guild," explained Dr. Bildstein.
Click Here for a copy of the paper.
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